Friday, 31 October 2008
A HALLOWEEN STORY
The clouds flitted across the moon, making it difficult for her to get a good idea of her bearings.
This had seemed a good idea a few hours ago, getting in the car and driving down to see her friends. She'd made good time down the motorway till the signs said it was closed ahead and she had to leave at the next exit.
She'd followed all the other cars mindlessly hoping that the one in front knew where they were going. Then she'd seen a sign for the town she wanted. It was obviously the back way into town, but at least it would get her there in time for supper at the rate she was going.
All was well, till she remembered that she was running low on petrol. 'Oh Bloody Hell' she muttered to herself, she'd only been a couple of miles from the service station, and in all the chaos of getting off the road she'd forgotten. Not that she'd passed any petrol stations anyway
Well she'd just have to carry on driving, and hope that she came across one soon. She thought she'd try her friends to let them know where she was, but in the way of these things there was no signal on her phone.
The lanes she was driving round seemed to wind every which way, this may not have been her best idea after all she thought ruefully. And the worry about the petrol was starting to make her anxious.
But nothing for it but to carry on. Then the car started sputtering in the way that cars without fuel do and so she had no choice but to pull in the side of the road and put on her hazard warning lights.
Opening the boot, she got out her coat, wrapped her scarf tight round her neck, picked up her bag and put it across her body, locked the car and set off.
The road was illuminated by the light of the moon, so she made good progress initially, but then the clouds started building up making it more difficult to see her way ahead.
This was not the night to be doing this she thought,it was Halloween, and although it was still relatively early it was very dark. But she wasn't one to scare easily. Or so she thought. But once that thought about it being Halloween had entered her head, she started hearing noises around her.
She kept telling herself not to be silly it was the wind rustling, or the small creatures in the undergrowth. There was no point in being fanciful about ghosts and ghouls.
She was almost at the point of beginning to panic when ahead of her she saw a light shinning. The relief. She'd go to the house and ask to use the phone, and find out where the nearest petrol station was.
Even better, as she got closer she realised it was a pub. She rushed forward but when she got to the front door it was locked, undeterred she tried the side door, also locked, but all the lights were ablaze, she could see inside the pub, the fire burning, the bar with it's optics all lit up, chairs pushed back from tables as if people had left in a hurry
This was so frustrating and she wanted to cry, where was everyone. She banged on the door, but no-one came. This was too much, and the tears started to fall. A voice beside her spoke, saying 'don't cry maid it's all right'.
She turned to see a middle aged man, dressed in slightly old fashioned clothes. She thought he must just be a local man, so thought no more about what he was wearing or that he called her maid. She was just so relived, she quickly explained that she'd run out of fuel and where she was going.
He said he and his mate would sort it out,as another man came out of the shadows towards her. This didn't feel quite as safe, but the first man said, that his mate would go down to get the fuel, and that he would walk her back to her car to wait for him, as he couldn't have her wandering around this time of night by herself.
She didn't feel she had a choice, so she had to put her trust in this plan, as she had no idea of where she was, or how far it was to the town. And this pub seemed to be in the middle of nowhere, there were no other lights that she could see around.
Picking up a lantern with a candle in it, the first man started walking beside her back to the car. He didn't talk, and for that she was grateful as she was scared being alone with this man on this dark lane, and her teeth were chattering.
They got back to the car, and weirdly when they got there the other man was waiting with a can of fuel. She didn't see his car, but she was much too relieved to have the petrol put into her car to be really taking any notice.
She asked how far to the town, and they told her it was just a couple of miles the way she'd been walking. She thanked them for their kindness, and realised that not everyone out there is a rapist. They both smiled and wished her a safe journey.
Getting in the car, she started the engine and opening the window to wave and say a final thanks she realised they'd already gone, which was odd.
Driving back along the road, she reached the place she thought the pub was. But there was nothing there. Well not strictly true, there was a pub sign swinging in the wind, but the pub was burnt to the ground and in ruins and looked as if it had been like that for sometime.
But instead of being scared by this discovery it made her feel safe, as if in her hour of need that the ghosts, which up until that point she'd never believed in, were tonight looking after her, cause it was Halloween and they where about on the earth, coming through that thin veil that, is as it is on this one night of the year.